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Best Crossbody Bags

Updated November 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we tested

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 90 Models Considered
  • 5 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 874 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best crossbody bags

    Last Updated November 2018

    Stylish and easy to carry, crossbody bags provide hands-free convenience that won’t slow you down. Whether you’re looking for the perfect crossbody bag for traveling, a versatile option for daily use, or a sleek little number for a night out on the town, you’ll have no shortage of shapes, sizes, and styles from which to choose.

    However, with so many crossbody bags on the market, finding the right one for you can be tough. Want them all, but only need one? Then you’ve come to the right place!

    At BestReviews, we aim to take the stress out of shopping. We’ve created this detailed guide to help you find your perfect match. Read on for everything you need to know about choosing the best crossbody bag for your style.

    Too much hardware can make even the smallest crossbody bag feel heavy. Try to avoid chunky metal straps, large clasps, or oversized buckles if you’d rather not be weighed down.

    Benefits of crossbody bags

    For some, it’s all about the convenience, while others simply love the look. If you’re not sure if crossbody bags are right for you, the following list of benefits might help you decide.

    • Hands-free carrying: Worn across the body, with the strap over one shoulder and the bag itself resting near the opposite hip, crossbody bags hold everyday essentials while leaving your hands completely free.

    • Security: Crossbody bags aren’t just convenient – they also offer more security than many other handbag styles. The same across-the-torso design that makes them so easy to carry also makes them more difficult for criminals to snatch.

    • Comfort: Most crossbody bags aren’t overly large and allow for free and unrestricted movement. Even if you do need to lug a few extras around, crossbody bags tend to provide better weight distribution than shoulder bags, for less stress on your shoulder.

    • Style: Less cumbersome than backpacks and more versatile than messenger bags, crossbody bags strike a great balance between style and fuss-free functionality. With designs ranging from fun and casual to chic and sophisticated, crossbody bags can be matched with just about any outfit.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    Keeping your crossbody bag positioned in front of you when walking through crowded areas can reduce your chances of falling victim to pickpockets.

    Types of crossbody bags

    Crossbody bags are available in a wide array of styles. Whether you’re looking for something functional or fashionable, there’s a crossbody bag for you.

    Anti-theft crossbody bags

    Anti-theft crossbody bags are designed to keep your belongings safe from pickpockets and bag snatchers. With features like locking closures, slash-resistant straps and materials, and RFID blocking card and passport slots, these crossbody bags are in a class of their own. Anti-theft crossbody bags are especially popular among travelers, but they can provide extra security for daily use, too.

    Travel crossbody bags

    In addition to having a few extra compartments for on-the-go essentials, travel crossbody bags are generally made of lightweight, water-resistant materials. These bags are designed to hold a little more without weighing you down, and they will keep your belongings safe and dry should you get caught in a sudden downpour. Many travel crossbody bags also offer some form of theft-protection, such as RFID blocking slots, hidden compartments, or sturdy straps.

    Convertible crossbody bags

    If you’re looking for a multifunctional item, convertible crossbody bags are a great option. These versatile bags come in all shapes and sizes. Smaller varieties can be seamlessly adapted from crossbody bags to clutches simply by removing the strap. Larger models usually come with a set of handles, which allows them to transform into shoulder bags or tote bags.

    Mini crossbody bags

    These compact bags come in a variety of designs and are great for days when you only need to carry the bare necessities. Most mini crossbody bags will hold a phone, keys, small wallet, and maybe a pair of sunglasses, depending on the bag’s size.

    Designer crossbody bags

    If you love stepping out in style, designer crossbody bags are sure to please. Boasting the finest materials and craftsmanship, designer crossbody bags cost more but are a worthwhile investment if you’re fashion-conscious or craving a little luxury.

    A light-colored lining can provide contrast with your crossbody bag’s contents, making it easier to find individual items.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Features to consider for crossbody bags

    Size

    Before you take the plunge and buy that crossbody bag you’ve been eyeing, take an inventory of the items you need it to hold. Your phone and keys are a given, but does the bag have room for your tablet or a book? Will your wallet fit, or does the bag have one built in? Are you hoping to squeeze in a water bottle or a camera? Do you have kids and often find yourself carrying extra items?

    Although most crossbody bags are designed to be streamlined and compact for on-the-go convenience, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice functionality for comfort. On the other hand, if you prefer to head out with as little as possible, a mini crossbody bag might be the perfect fit for you.

    Compartments and pockets

    Having at least a few compartments or pockets in your crossbody bag can help you stay organized. Outside compartments offer easy access to items like tissues, sunglasses, or lip balm. Inner pockets and compartments ensure that valuables like phones, keys, and wallets remain secure, and they also allow you to reach in and find what you need without having to search.

    Strap length

    While it seems like a basic feature, an adjustable strap shouldn’t be overlooked. Being able to shorten or lengthen your crossbody bag’s strap to suit your height is essential for comfortable use. If you’re tall and hope to carry your bag at or just above your hip, don’t forget to check the maximum strap length to make sure it’s capable of extending to your needs.

    Materials

    Crossbody bags are commonly made of nylon, polyester, canvas, or leather. Beyond aesthetics, construction materials will also have a direct impact on the weight of your bag.

    • Nylon and polyester: Whether used by themselves or blended together, nylon and polyester tend to be ultra-lightweight and offer good water-resistance. Because of these qualities, crossbody bags made of nylon or polyester are great for traveling or long daily commutes. They’re also versatile in terms of style and can be utilitarian, casual, or trendy, depending on the design.

    • Canvas: Canvas crossbody bags aren’t quite as lightweight as nylon or polyester bags, but they certainly won’t weigh you down either. If weather-resistance is a concern, look for a bag with a water-resistant finish. Most canvas crossbody bags have a laidback, earthy appeal.

    • Leather: As far as weight is concerned, leather crossbody bags tend to be the heaviest. However, because most crossbody bags are compact, this generally isn’t an issue unless you need a feather-light option for hours of on-foot sightseeing. Leather bags are naturally weather-resistant and can be very durable if properly cared for. Another benefit of leather crossbody bags is the vast selection of styles they come in. You’ll find both casual and sophisticated designs in leather, and if you need something versatile, the right leather crossbody bag will serve you just as well on holidays and weekends as it will on workdays.
    EXPERT TIP

    To avoid the frustration of a less-than-perfect fit, check the dimensions of a crossbody bag, and measure them against the largest item you’ll be carrying before purchasing.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Prices for crossbody bags

    Size, materials, features, and quality all play a role in the cost of a crossbody bag. With a host of options available, finding a bag to suit both your budget and style shouldn’t be too difficult.

    Under $25

    If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll still have some decent options to choose from, provided your expectations are reasonable. In this price range, you might be faced with a toss-up between size and quality. Our advice? Opt for something smaller, or consider a mini crossbody bag in a design that you love.

    $30 to $60

    For many, this price bracket offers an ideal balance between quality and affordability. Whether you’re looking for a quality mini crossbody bag, a sturdy anti-theft model, or a stylish everyday workhorse, you’ll have plenty of excellent options to choose from within this price range.

    $60 to $100+

    If you’re willing to pay a little more for superior quality, premium crossbody bags of all shapes and sizes can be found in this price range. Designer crossbody bags will be the most expensive but will likely be made from high-quality leather.

    If you’re prone to overstuffing your bag or need to carry heavy items, opt for a crossbody bag with a wider strap. Narrow straps can be uncomfortable and dig into your shoulder when carrying heftier loads.

    FAQ

    Q. I’m looking for a crossbody bag that my partner and I can both use while traveling. What should I look for in a unisex crossbody bag?

    A. Being able to pass a bag back and forth can minimize fatigue while you take in the sights and is a great way to cut back on luggage at the same time. Fortunately, many crossbody bags that are designed for travel come in styles that work for both men and women. Wide straps, straight lines, and darker colors like black or navy are more likely to inspire carrying confidence in men. Also, remember that you’ll be carrying extra items, so be sure to choose a bag that’s large enough to accommodate your doubled-up necessities.

    Q. Why do some polyester and nylon crossbody bags cost more than similar designs made of the same materials?

    A. At a glance, these bags may appear similar. However, more expensive polyester and nylon crossbody bags typically have features that make them more durable, like a higher denier  (individual fiber thickness), stronger stitching, and quality hardware. While it may look as though you’re paying more for the same thing, closer inspection of the details will usually reveal the reasons for the difference in cost.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer

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